Consultants, fees

To the editor:

Two articles in the Aug. 29 Journal-World stir serious questions: “Outside help,” on the Opinion page and “Trash talk” on the front page.

Outside help: I have often wondered why almost every time the city of Lawrence or Douglas County consider a project, an outside consultant is hired to advise or design the project. Even Kansas University does this, even though they have schools of business, engineering and architecture that teach consultants their expertise. If the faculty does not have the time to answer these requests, they could be profitable projects for graduate students, giving them learning experience and saving the city and county money. Also, there are many degreed professionals on the city and county staffs. Are they not fit to design and build?

Trash talk: I also wonder why any time there is talk of a change in city-county services, there is almost automatically talk of a fee or tax increase. Not too long ago, the newspaper stated that the city was transferring money from the water department to another city department. If there is excess money in the water department, are the water fees too high? Back before the corporate CEOs and the bureaucrats stuffed their pockets and crashed the economy, there was talk of needing an additional sewer plant. If that plant is needed in the future, excess money in the water department could well be used for that. If the law does not allow for retaining funds until needed, then change the law.